Godfather of Go-Go Chuck Brown Dies At 75
Chuck Brown, who was known as the "godfather" of the East Coast funk music subgenre known as go-go and singer of the 1978 hit, "Bustin' Loose," died on Wednesday, May 16, in Baltimore at the age of 75 after a bout with pneumonia.
Chuck Brown was a go-go legend and a hero in the Washington, D.C. area, where he created his original, raspy sound. Go-go and Brown flirted with a commercial market in the 1980s, but the dance sound of go-go was dependent upon the live experience, according to Natalie Hopkinson of The Root.
"It stayed true to time-honored cultural scripts such as live call-and-response, live instrumentation, as well as its locally rooted fashions, slang, dance, distribution and economic systems," Hopkinson wrote of the go-go experience and Chuck Brown's contribution to it. "Simply put: Go-go never sold out. There is a grit and texture to the music — sometimes derided as 'pots and pans' — that gives voice to the communities where it was created and from which profits are taken."
Brown could still be seen performing on stages like Constitution Hall up until he fell ill a few weeks before his death.
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